Inspirational New Soul Song & Video for “Flame” by AV (Ann Vriend) with Highlands Junior High Music Class

Today, “Flame” — the song and music video that Edmonton singer-songwriter, soul songstress AV (Ann Vriend, my client of 10 years) did with the Highlands Junior High music class — was released to the world! The funding of this recording was made possible via an anonymous donor who saw these students and Ann perform at a school fundraiser on May 4, 2018. The donor was so moved and inspired by the performance of the song that he immediately asked how it could be immortalized by a studio recording of it. A week later he graciously provided the funding for this endeavor.

Less than a month after their debut performance, the students, Ann, her producer and videographer, Tino Zolfo, were in the recording studio at Velveteen Audio in Edmonton recording the song and making a music video for it. None of the students had been in a recording studio prior to this date, but have since inspired many people with their talent, hope, and enthusiasm for this venture. Ann Vriend thanks Principal Brad Burns for the initial vision for the project and everyone for listening and being part of this experience.

47579867_10156627003225519_7358951090420711424_n

www.annvriend.com

 

ANN VRIEND (AV) Releases New Single + Video IT’S HAPPENING w/ Special Performance by Sifton Elementary Student Choir

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TORONTO – Award-winning soul singer ANN VRIEND (AV) releases a new video and single entitled “IT’S HAPPENING.” Commissioned for a school fundraiser, the students of Sifton Elementary School Choir accompany AV on this empowering and gritty, inner-city soul anthem. The efforts will culminate on Friday, October 26at 2:15 pm with a special performance at the school, 4305 134 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB. For more info please visit www.annvriend.com.

AV sings her heart out about her views of the world; her matter-of-fact, non-sugar-coated observations from her inner city neighborhood; her hard life lessons – and yet there is a soulful, hopeful persistence for herself and the world to be better.

The children’s choir AV recruited to sing the song “It’s Happening” with her, are living proof that as she sings, the change to a more diverse and inclusive society “is already happening.” Propelled by an unstoppable and compelling electric piano groove, the lyrics describe the transcendence of tough circumstances, with a compassionate heart.  With her voice sounding like that of the late Aretha Franklin in her very early Gospel days, AV offers a powerful, socially conscious exhortation.

“It’s Happening” was recorded June 4, 2018, with students from the Sifton Elementary School Choir. Sifton Elementary is a school in North Edmonton where many students come from war-torn countries and traumatizing and/or impoverished situations. The funding of this recording was made possible via an anonymous donor who saw the students and AV perform at a school fundraiser on May 4, 2018. The donor was so moved and inspired by the performance of the song, that he immediately asked how it could be immortalized by a studio recording of it. A week later he graciously provided the funding for this endeavor.  A month to the day after their debut performance, the students, AV, and her producer and videographer, Tino Zolfo, were in the recording studio recording the song and making a music video for it. None of the students had been in a recording studio prior to this date, but have since inspired many people with their talent, hope, and enthusiasm for this venture. AV and all involved in the making of this video would like to thank everyone for listening and being part of this experience.

www.annvriend.com
https://open.spotify.com/album/3HPEpM2xRp3n3k3ujaKCUG
https://play.spotify.com/artist/3vjHMysd98leqhwDotu9fZ
www.youtube.com/user/AnnVriend
www.facebook.com/AnnVriend
https://twitter.com/AnnVriend
www.instagram.com/annvriend

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For more information, photos, mp3s, WAV files, CD copies, interviews, please contact:

MEDIA CONTACT:
SPEAK Music | Beverly Kreller, Publicist
bev@speak-music.com | 416-922-3620
Twitter: @SPEAKMusicPR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beverly.kreller

ANN VRIEND WINS COBALT PRIZE AT 2017 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aporia Records Logo imageAporia Records Logo

ANN VRIEND

WINS COBALT PRIZE

AT 2017 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS

Ann Vriend Cobalt Prize


TORONTO – TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2017 –
Big Win for Ann Vriend! Following on the heels of her powerful and well-received Blues Summit Eight showcase with Rooster Davis Group (also her backing band), Ann Vriend is more than thrilled that she has won the Toronto Blues Society’s COBALT PRIZE at last night’s Maple Blues Awards. The event took place at Toronto’s Koerner Hall where Vriend was handed the award for Contemporary Blues Composition/Songwriting for her song “All That I Can” (Aporia Records), a soulful gospel tune. For more information please visit: www.annvriend.com / www.aporia-records.com.

The Toronto Blues Society’s annual Cobalt Prize is judged on a song’s ability to creatively utilize blues traditions within the broad contemporary musical landscape. With a focus on melody, song structure, lyric etc. they also choose the song that “will refresh and enrich blues as an art form.”

The Cobalt Prize judges decided that Edmonton-based Ann Vriend’s “All That I Can” achieved just that, and selected it as first place winner among 75 entries from across Canada. Shocked and ecstatic from the win, Vriend gave a speech noting the inspiration from the African-American community, reminding the audience that they were all there because of a music that came out of great hardship, slavery, and abuse of the African-American people – and yet blues music has had the most profound influence on almost all genres of music world-wide than any other genre.

“All That I Can” is a new track from AV’s upcoming EP release via Aporia Records. It will also be released in Australia next month, alongside four other original tracks, in an EP entitled Anybody’s Different, licensed by David Hand Productions from Aporia Records. With the vocals recorded in primarily one take, the song has a live-off-the-floor feeling and falls into the category of gospel blues with its 6/8 time signature. The music is very traditional gospel, but the lyrics are secular. The Hammond organ combined with upright piano and AV’s soul vocals are reminiscent of early gospel and soul recordings in the era of Sam Cooke. However, there is also a contemporary twist in the sound too – since the drums used on this track are sampled in the style of retro hip hop, and eq’ed to give the song a rough low-fi edge, in contrast with Vriend’s smooth and sweet (though powerful) vocals.

The lyrics of the song are an earnest promise to a lover to do “all that I can” if the lover is willing to “take me just as I am” – a plea to be a true friend and companion in a world where “sometimes I think they wanna break me, just to see if they can.” Though Vriend points out: “but they mistake me as a weak and silly woman,” which could be taken as a slight jab at the misogyny that is sadly, still so prevalent in the world.

Following this very fruitful weekend in Toronto, is a showcase tonight at Aporia Record Label, 714 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, at 6:30 pm. Then Vriend will tour Australia with the Rooster Davis Group next month for a five-week tour, to support the Anybody’s Different EP followed by a European Tour from May 13-29, 2017.

More on “All That I Can”

Composer: Ann Vriend
Producer: Tino Zolfo
Mixing engineer: Brandon Unis, Cylinder Sound
Film mastering engineer: Peter Letros, Wreckhouse Mastering
Label: Aporia Records 

Musicians

Vocals and Piano: Ann Vriend
Organ: Rooster Davis (David Aide)
Programming: Tino Zolfo

Upcoming Dates

February 9 – March 12 – Australia EP Release Tour

Artist Links

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/annvriend/all-that-i-canwav

https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-will-you-be-there

https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-anybodys-different/s-dEJII

Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/3vjHMysd98leqhwDotu9fZ

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AnnVriend

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnVriend

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnVriend #WillYouBeThere #AllThatICan

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annvriend  

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For more information, photos, mp3s, WAV files, interviews, please contact:

MEDIA CONTACT:

Beverly Kreller, Publicist | SPEAK Music
bev@speak-music.com | 416-922-3620
Twitter: @SPEAKMusicPR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beverly.kreller

 

 

Ann Vriend New Video & Single “Will You Be There?” on Aporia Records Out Now

ANN VRIEND
NEW VIDEO
WILL YOU BE THERE?
OUT DECEMBER 9TH!

“Don’t miss her.” ~ Toronto Star
“Holy wow! What a voice!” ~ The AU Review in Australia
“Vriend’s voice is unmistakable, catching and powerful,” ~ The Calgary Sun

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TORONTO – 2016 – The captivating and powerhouse vocalist Ann Vriend (AV) releases new single and video “Will You Be There,” (Aporia Records), a compelling song propelled by an irresistible dance beat, a catchy horn sample, and Vriend’s invincible vocal prowess. The single’s out now on iTunes, Spotify and all regular digital distribution channels. For more info please visit: www.annvriend.com /www.aporia-records.com.

One listen to “Will You Be There?” and you’ll know how great a singer, songwriter, and musician Ann Vriend (AV) is; witness one live performance, and you’ll fall in love with her. Of all the things she is, AV is definitely the real deal.

The Edmonton-based singer-songwriter has spent considerable time with her backing band in New Orleans, studying the convergence of gospel, blues, funk, soul, Caribbean beats, and jazz – and staying up late trying to experience as much of it as possible. All those elements are combined in “Will You Be There?” as the ever-evolving and revolving door of sounds and culture from Crescent City continues to inspire and influence the world of pop and R&B – even as far north as Edmonton, Alberta.

Produced by Tino Zolfo – a soul bassist himself back in the day – “Will You Be There?” is an intense New Orleans funk/dance R&B song about how easy it is to “be around” for the good times, the party, the nightclub fun. But then it asks “will you be there for the other part?” Whether asking that of a lover, of friends, of fans, or of the world at large, it’s left open-ended for the listener to decide.

The song is musically very upbeat and danceable, but also has a darker vibe and is a cautionary tale about the night life and being careful when you cross the line. It continues in AV’s ‘70s soul direction, but would sit quite comfortably on any playlist alongside the contemporary voices of Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams, Amy Winehouse, Meghan Trainor, and Adele.

More about AV

AV recently signed with Toronto-based record label Aporia. She has appeared on CBC’s “Vinyl Café” with Stuart McLean, ABC TV’s prime time music comedy trivia show “Spicks and Specks,” ABC Radio’s “The Inner Sleeve” plus Sydney Mornings with Wendy Harmer, and Germany’s “Arte TV.” She has been featured in Elle Magazine and performed at Koerner Hall via the Songwriters’ Association of Canada, alongside Dan Hill, Marc Jordan, Melanie Doane, and others.

Musicians on the Recording:

Ann Vriend: vocals, keys, background vocals
Tino Zolfo: bass, programming

Upcoming Dates

January 7 – The Rec Room, Edmonton, AB
January 21 – Toronto Blues Summit as part of Rooster Davis Group, Toronto, ON
February 9 – March 12 – Australia EP Release Tour

Artist Links:

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-will-you-be-there

https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-anybodys-different/s-dEJII

Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/3vjHMysd98leqhwDotu9fZ

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AnnVriend

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnVriend

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnVriend #WillYouBeThere

Intagram: https://www.instagram.com/annvriend  

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For more information, photos, mp3s, WAV files, interviews, please contact:

MEDIA CONTACT:

Beverly Kreller, Publicist | SPEAK Music
bev@speak-music.com | 416-922-3620
Twitter: @SPEAKMusicPR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beverly.kreller

 

 

Canadian Songstress Ann Vriend Makes Her Annual Summer Pilgrimage To Australia With Her Band The Rooster Davis Group

For Immediate Release
Monday 31
st October 2016

CANADIAN SONGSTRESS ANN VRIEND MAKES HER ANNUAL SUMMER PILGRIMAGE TO AUSTRALIA WITH HER BAND THE ROOSTER DAVIS GROUP

TOUR DATES FOR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2017 ANNOUNCED

Ann Vriend Australian 2017 Tour Poster

Revered songstress Ann Vriend is returning to her honorary home of Australia for her annual summer tour. Bringing her band back with her down under, the sultry songwriter will be traversing throughout New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and even the nation’s capital. Showcasing new material from her as-yet-untitled EP – due for release in early 2017 – Ann will also jammin’ out audience favourites from her current release For The People In The Mean Time.

It has been almost 12-months since the soulful performer was in Australia and she can’t wait to get back on local stages. “I can’t wait to play some of my new tunes for everybody down there,” says Ann. “Some of the new tunes we’ve been playing for a year live already and people always ask for them at the merch table. And, I’m not going to lie, Australia’s summer is such a thing to look forward to when you’re from such a cold northern city as Edmonton.”

Despite the cold, it has been a huge year for Ann – both on the home front and internationally. She has recently signed on the dotted line with major Canadian record company Aporia Records and spent several weeks touring Europe. Add to that a plethora of festivals throughout Canada and needless to say, there has been little downtime for Ann and her band. In fact, the few breaks in touring they had throughout the year were spent in the studio, laying down tracks for a new release.

Returning to Australia will continue the busy streak that looks set to carry Ann through well into 2017. She is also bringing her acclaimed band back with her, the Rooster Davis Group, who have already garnered their own heady reputation in Australia with their New Orleans blues and funk sound. Ann says she can’t wait to get back on the stage with the rockin’ outfit.

“We’ll play the new songs we’ll be releasing, plus some favourites from the previous albums,” she says. “In general, it’s a lively show on the soul-funk-pop side, with some quiet ballads on the piano here and there. The band has two keyboard players – me on piano or wurly and Rooster Davis on basslines on the Hammond organ (and drums and vocals). It is a very unusual set-up instrumentally. We have been touring this way for about three years and although people are always sceptical when we’re first setting up – as they don’t see a guitar or bass guitar – by the end of the show even the biggest sceptics are converted. I’m very lucky to have monster musicians in my band to make it work.”

For those who have previously seen Ann perform – either with her band or in a solo setting – it is evident that the effortless songstress is comfortable in any situation – on any stage. The Vancouver born singer has been finding her feet musically since she was three. By age nine she was already composing music on the piano and she hasn’t really stopped since. Described as an enchanting cross between ‘the girly timbre of Dolly Parton and the blues-filled prowess of Aretha Frankin’, Ann is revered for her live shows – endearing audiences from the first bar to the closing song.

As a musician, she loves the diversity of playing both by herself and with the backing of her soul band, and it is that versatility that has seen Australian audiences embrace Ann and her music. She is always pushing the envelope – both in the studio and on the stage – and acknowledges the great support she receives from fans ‘down under’ for her live shows. “I love both scenarios equally,” she says of performing in a solo or band setting. “As an artist you sometimes get pigeonholed in the music biz so that your artistic freedom gets very compromised. I’m lucky to be working with people who see my diversity as a plus and not a minus – that is a real gift.”

Don’t miss Canadian songstress Ann Vriend as she brings her exceptional live shows with The Rooster Davis Band back to Australia in 2017.  Tickets are on sale now.

Thursday 9th February 2017
Brass Monkey, CRONULLA NSW
www.brassmonkey.com.au

Friday 10th February 2017
Australian Blues Festival, GOULBURN NSW
www.australianbluesmusic.com.au

Saturday 11th February 2017
Australian Blues Festival, GOULBURN NSW
www.australianbluesmusic.com.au

Sunday 12th February 2017
Smith’s Alternative, CANBERRA ACT
www.facebook.com/events/1120922087997725/

Friday 17th February 2017
Paris Cat, MELBOURNE VIC
www.pariscat.com.au

Saturday 18th February 2017
Paris Cat, MELBOURNE VIC
www.pariscat.com.au

Sunday 19th February 2017
Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs VIC
Presale $12 / door $15
www.oldhepburnhotel.com.au

Friday 24th February 2017
The Heritage Hotel, BULLI NSW
www.heritagehotel.com.au

Saturday 25th February 2017
Venue 505, SYDNEY NSW
www.venue505.com

Thursday 2nd March 2017
Lizottes, NEWCASTLE NSW
www.lizottes.com.au

Friday 3rd March 2017
Flow Bar, OLD BAR NSW
www.flowbar.com.au

Saturday 4th March 2017
63 First Ave, SAWTELL NSW
www.facebook.com/63FirstAveSawtell

Thursday 9th March 2017
The Bison Bar, NAMBOUR QLD
www.thebisonbar.com

Friday 10th March 2017
Nightquarter, GOLD COAST QLD
www.nightquarter.com.au

Saturday 11th March 2017
Brisbane Jazz Club, BRISBANE QLD
www.brisbanejazzclub.com.au

Sunday 12th March 2017
The Rails, BYRON BAY NSW
www.therailsbyronbay.com

***NOTE: copies of AV’s currently released album “For The People In The Meantime” can be found in AUS at the following stores:

Sydney:
Egg Records
3 Wilson St
Newtown, New South Wales
eggrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Egg-Records-162119267137836/

Melbourne:
The Basement Discs
24 Block Place
Melbourne, Australiwww.basementdiscs.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/The-Basement-Discs-822563744521920/

For more information, please visit http://www.annvriend.com

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Hot Off The Press Publicity | (03) 9014 1096 | (07) 4015 3205 | publicity@hotoffthepress.com.au

Ann Vriend New Single “Anybody’s Different” out September 16 on Aporia Records

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ann Vriend Anybody's Different

“Don’t miss her.” ~ Toronto Star

“A delightful stage presence – she has an engaging, down-to-earth manner, and the audience loved her…do yourself a favour; go and see her!” ~ Scenestr Magazine (Australia)

 

TORONTO – THURSDAY, AUGUST 25TH, 2016 – The always assiduous and enchanting artist Ann Vriend (AV) is set to release her new single “Anybody’s Different,” (Aporia Records), on September 16th and will be out on iTunes, Spotify and all regular digital distribution channels. This release marks the first of a series that will culminate in a full album. Fans can also use the hashtag #anybodysdifferent to follow AV’s “post an image a day” campaign leading up to the single as well as an accompanying video release.https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/anybodysdifferent/

For more info please visit:

www.annvriend.com / www.aporia-records.com.

“Anybody’s Different” is a powerful, epic, minor key soul/pop song, sonically reminiscent of Adele’s “Skyfall,” though faster-paced. Lyrically, it addresses current, globally relevant news regarding political division, the refugee crisis, gun violence, and religious extremism. All this is achieved within a three-minute song, making strong use of rhyme, repetition, and simple, image-invoking words.

AV, as she prefers to be called these days, says she wrote the song “About as fast as it took to play it from start to finish.” She found it a challenge, though, to write about something so topical and politically charged without sounding “preachy, judgemental, or overly simplistic.”

She decided to base the song on her own observations as a world traveller, and her personal experiences with so many people from different cultures, races, religions, sexual orientations, etc. The song – which features AV’s high, ringing, Dolly Parton-esque voice and passionate delivery – moves from a simple piano-and-voice intro to 21st Century beats and sounds, but with a strong melody anchored in classic pop, culminating in a rousing, Gospel-style, call-and-response chorus. It begins by first questioning if there ever has been an age of innocence on this earth, and ends up giving voice to the struggle and predicament of the human condition that “everybody” faces.

It will be the first of many soul/pop songs that will lead to an EP release in February, 2017 followed by a full album release.

AV recently signed with Toronto-based record label Aporia, and has independently sold more than 16,000 albums off the stage over the course of her vigorous career. She has appeared on CBC’s “Vinyl Café” with Stuart McLean, ABC TV’s prime time music comedy trivia show “Spicks and Specks,” ABC Radio’s “The Inner Sleeve” plus Sydney Mornings with Wendy Harmer, and Germany’s “Arte TV.” She has been featured in Elle Magazine and performed at Koerner Hall via the Songwriters’ Association of Canada, alongside Dan Hill, Marc Jordan, Melanie Doane, and others.

Following their successful 2016 tours of Europe, Australia, and becoming semi-finalists at the Blues Challenge in Memphis, AV and her band “The Rooster Davis Group” have spent the summer playing prestigious Canadian blues and pop festivals.

Musicians on the Recording:

Ann Vriend: vocals, piano, background vocals
Tino Zolfo: bass, programming, background vocals
Brandon Unis: background vocals

Upcoming Tour Dates

September 16, 2016 – The Needle Vinyl Tavern, Edmonton 

For tickets: http://w.yeglive.ca/events/ann-vriend/sep-16-2016/the-needle

September 17, 2016 – Royal Canadian Legion, Calgary

For tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2596310

October 7, 2016 – Lee’s Palace, Toronto (opening for Julian Taylor)

For tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1239105?utm_source=fbTfly&utm_medium=ampOfficialEvent

October 9, 2016 – Rainbow Bistro, Ottawa

For tickets: http://therainbow.ca/page8/

 

Artist Links:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-anybodys-different/s-dEJII

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AnnVriend

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnVriend

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnVriend #anybodysdifferent

Intagram: https://www.instagram.com/annvriend  

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 For more information, photos, mp3s, WAV files, interviews, please contact:

MEDIA CONTACT:

Beverly Kreller, Publicist | SPEAK Music
bev@speak-music.com | 416-922-3620
Twitter: @SPEAKMusicPR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beverly.kreller

 

Canadian Songstress Ann Vriend Returns to Australia for Special East Coast Australian Tour, with a Limited Edition Vinyl Release

Ann Vriend 2016 Australian Tour

NEXT SINGLE THOSE RECORDS DUE AT RADIO IN FEBRUARY 2016

Internationally acclaimed Canadian retro soul songstress Ann Vriend is returning to Australia for a special tour throughout March.  Aptly titled the Those Records tour, Ann will not only be releasing the song of the same name in the lead-up to the tour, but will also be bringing a swag of limited release vinyl with her. Celebrating the Australian vinyl release of her album For The People In The Mean Time, this whirlwind tour will be the last time Ann performs down under before she heads into the studio to record the material for her next long player.

Considered by many an honorary Australian, Ann is well-known for her enigmatic shows and is looking forward to bringing her band back with her for her 2016 East Coast tour. “I am known to a lot of Aussies as a solo performer, as up until recently I’ve performed almost exclusively solo  in Australia,” says Ann.  “And while I enjoy that intimate way of performing and am glad I’m able to have that ability up my sleeve, this latest album is all about groove, all about the rhythm section. So I’m pretty excited about showing off my band to Aussie audiences. We’ve toured a lot in the last two years and we have worked out some live arrangements of our material from the album that I’m really proud of.”

Ann’s last tour of Australia was a select amount of tour dates surrounding a showcase spot at BIGSOUND in September 2015. The songstress is no stranger to industry showcases and festival slots, but it was still a highlight and something she – and the band – found inspiring.

“Professionally, playing for a full house and getting such great reviews of our show was a pretty great reception to my first foray with the band in Australia,” says Ann. “Personally, it was cool to see my band members go a bit ga-ga over seeing kangaroos for the first time… even seeing one poo was apparently Instagram worthy for them.”

While 2015 was the band’s first trip to Australia, Ann has been touring Oz for almost a decade. In fact, she has made Aussie tours almost a bi-annual pilgrimage, and it is no surprise that in that time she has been embraced by Aussie music lovers. For the impressive songstress, it doesn’t get much better than escaping the Canadian winter to tour her ‘second home’ during the warmer months.

“I love that it’s your summer when it’s our winter, I love the Aussie hospitality, and I have made some really great friends- er- mates down there,” she says. “No one other than Aussies would shout out something like ‘good onya, mate’ after a song, that’s for sure… although up until a few tours ago I thought people were saying ‘good onion, mate,’ which was a bit perplexing, but still better than a BAD onion, I thought to myself. Aussies are the opposite of reserved – I like the banter back and forth between me and the audience. I get people singing along on songs and I really like it when shows are interactive.”

Always wanting to do something special for audiences, Ann is also bringing along a limited release of For The People In The Mean Time on vinyl for her Australian tour. So far the special release has been available in Canada only, so this is a big coup for Aussie fans, being the first outside of her home state to have access to the LP. Celebrating the next Australian single – Those Records – to coincide with the tour makes March 2016 an exciting time for Ann Vriend.

“It is such a retro sounding album that it was just begging to be on vinyl,” says Ann. “The fact that there’s a song on it the album called Those Records made it a no-brainer that I should release that as the next single. I’m so happy with how the mastering on the pressing turned out, so I’m pretty proud of it, and just so pumped to have finally have it out. It was a big ordeal getting vinyl done in any sort of timely fashion, due to the high demand for it that there is these days. And it was great to be able to work with the artwork in the sense of having a bigger canvas than you do on a CD, too.”

Ann Vriend’s next single Those Records is due for release in February 2016.

 

Friday 4th March 2016
The Treehouse, BYRON BAY NSW
25 Childe Street, Byron Bay www.treehouseonbelongil.com | www.facebook.com/treehouse.belongil

Saturday 5th March 2016
Tatts Hotel, LISMORE NSW
108 Keen Street Lismore NSW 2480
http://tattshotel.com/

Sunday 6th March 2016
63 First Ave, SAWTELL NSW
63 First Avenue, Sawtell NSW 2452 www.facebook.com/63FirstAveSawtell

Wednesday 16th March 2016
The Basement, SYDNEY NSW
7 Macquarie Place, Sydney NSW Australia 2000 www.thebasement.com.au

Thursday 17th March 2016
Smiths Alternative, CANBERRA ACT
76 Alinga Street, Civic ACT 2601 www.smithsalternative.com

Tuesday 22nd March 2016
The Toff, MELBOURNE VIC
Level 2, Curtin House 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne www.thetoffintown.com

Friday 25th March 2016
The Goulburn Club, GOULBURN NSW
19 Market Street, Goulburn NSW
www.goulburnclub.com.au

Saturday 26th March 2016
The Milk Factory, BRISBANE QLD
48 Montague Road, South Brisbane QLD 4101 www.themilkfactorybar.com.au

*** more tour dates to be announced in coming weeks

For more information, please visit www.annvriend.com

Canadian Songstress Ann Vriend Releases The Next Australian Single From Her Acclaimed Long Player For The People In The Meantime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW SINGLE YOU CAN HAVE ME RELEASED TO RADIO ON FRIDAY 15TH  MAY 2015

Ann Vriend You Can Have Me

Copyright © 2014 Leroy Schulz http://www.leroyschulz.com/2014

Canadian songstress Ann Vriend is following up the success of her recent pop/soul long player For The People In The Mean Time with a catchy soul/funk single You Can Have Me, chosen specifically for release in Australia this May. After a successful tour down under at the start of 2015, it was quickly evident that Ann’s rapidly growing fanbase missed the pint-sized singer- songwriter, so she hand-picked one of her favourite tracks from the album to share with music lovers.

The Vancouver born singer hit her musical strides early when her parents discovered her picking out songs by ear on a toy xylophone at age three. She was enrolled in violin lessons by age four, and by the age of nine she was a composing songs on piano. Inspired to continue a career in the music industry, she entered school talent quests, enrolled in music college and won first place in a songwriting competition, which funded her debut album.

Ann’s sound has been described as an enchanting cross between the ‘girly timbre of Dolly Parton and the blues-filled prowess of Aretha Franklin’. In 2013 she won Canada’s nation-wide ‘She’s The One’ talent search at the Ottawa Bluesfest, and her live show with her band received 4/5 stars in Die Rhineplatz, Germany this past April. Meanwhile Ann’s songs have garnered airplay on both commercial and independent stations alike. Her latest album, For The People In The Mean Time, an energetic retro soul offering received 4/5 stars in Beat Magazine and is currently up for Pop Recording of the Year and Female Artist of the Year in her hometown of Edmonton. It was also nominated at the Toronto Independent Music Awards for Pop Album of the Year.

Track three from the album, the single You Can Have Me is a playful anti-romantic, or a realistic relationship song, says Ann. “I wrote it to be in contrast with the idealistic pop love songs out there,” she says. “But it’s still really upbeat and has a funky dance vibe rather than a sobering one. In fact, the whole album is about realistic expectations in my rough neighbourhood – sad if you read the lyrics, but the music is quite the opposite. It’s an old-school disco party, a really good time, heavy bad-ass beats, groovy basslines – the kind of thing to play on a Saturday night. I think inadvertently my philosophy of soul music came through, which is that people need to dance and sing and let loose – not because they are problem free and without any blues, but in spite of that, as a way of managing.”

Like many of Ann’s lyrical influences – Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Dylan – You Can Have Me is both tongue-in-cheek and simultaneously serious in nature: “It is about accepting and/or settling for someone to be with, in contrast to all the pop songs out there about ‘you’re so perfect and so beautiful and sexy 100 per cent of the time’,” she says. “I came up with a couple of characters who, like most people, want a person who fulfills all the things on their Ideal Person List– but instead they are advised maybe they should consider lowering their expectations of meeting all the points on their List– at least within the span of their lifetime– if they want to actually have a relationship with anyone! It may be on the one hand a bit of a cynical thing but I meant it to be more of a ‘hey, nobody’s perfect’, let’s celebrate people for who they really are kind of song.  I mean, none of us are perfect!”

The album For The People In The Mean Time is firmly rooted in R&B, with nearly all its samples and influences coming from funk artists such as Sly Stone and Parliament, Motown artists such as Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, and soul artists like Ray Charles and Ann’s all-time favorite singer, Aretha Franklin. The background vocals throughout are arranged in 3-part harmonies taken straight from the pages of the Rayelettes and Aretha, with You Can Have Me being no exception.

The original of You Can Have Me was recorded in Ann’s attic in Edmonton on Garageband as a rough demo, and sent to the album’s producer, Tino Zolfo, in Toronto. The demo had only the bare bones of the track: just piano, lead and background vocals, and a Motown type of chord progression. But Tino decided to put a different groove underneath. “Once he was done with it only the pre- chorus and bridge has any chord progression; he made it all about drums and bass,” says Ann. “After that we re-did the vocal and background vocals in Toronto, but in the end Tino liked how my original vocals sounded better, over the original chord progression he had then removed, because they imply this old-school harmony that’s no longer there. So it’s kind of a crazy thing but we kept those original vocals I did on a Sure 58 mic in my attic. I had no intention of that every being a keeper; I didn’t use a proper recording mic at all, but I am excited by how it sounds- it’s got a quirky old-school gritty undertone to it, while still being dance-like and poppy. That’s what Tino was after and I thought it suited the lyrics, and my neighbourhood, and me, perfectly.”

After releasing “You Can Have Me in Australia Ann hopes to return back down under in September 2015. Almost an ‘honorary Australian’, Ann has spent a considerable time touring the country, and considers it her “home away from home.” So when it came to releasing a new single from her album, Australia was one of the first places she decided to share the song.

Ann Vriend’s single You Can Have Me is released to radio on Friday 15th May 2015.

For more information, please visit www.annvriend.com

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Hot Off The Press Publicity | (03) 9014 1096 | (07) 4015 3205 | publicity@hotoffthepress.com.au

RBC Bluesfest: ‘She’s the One’ Finalists Selected

She's the One Emerging Female Artists Competition boom 99.7NEWS RELEASE

Ottawa, May 30, 2013RBC Bluesfest organizers today announced the finalists for their third annual ‘She’s the One’ Emerging Female Artist Competition, sponsored by Ottawa’s boom 99.7. The competition is a cross-Canada talent search for the best in emerging Canadian female music talent. With the help of boom 99.7, the festival welcomed submissions from more than 200 Canadian female musicians. The competition includes a solo and band category.

Ann Vriend

Ann Vriend

This year’s finalists in the Solo Category are Ann Vriend, Suzie Vinnick, and Ottawa’s own Tara Holloway. Finalists in the Band Category are Saidah Baba TalibahDanielle Duval; and Alejandra Ribera. Sample their music by clicking here or going to the RBC Bluesfest website and visiting She’s the One, on the ‘PERFORMERS’ list.

These six finalists will have a 20-minute slot to perform at the RBC Bluesfest in front of professional jury, on Saturday, July 6. One winner will be chosen from each category. Judging will be based upon various criteria, including performance, stage presence/showmanship, originality, musicality, audience reaction, and the ever-important ‘It’ factor.

Up for grabs are cash prizes:

  • Band Category winner will receive $5,000;
  • Solo Category winner will receive $2,000.

There’s also the bragging rights and exposure that go along with performing at one of North America’s pre-eminent music festivals. RBC Bluesfest staffer, Ana Miura helps coordinate the contest and marvels over the ever-growing popularity of the competition and the level talent that has come forward. “You can really see that this initiative is catching on,” says Miura. “We received close to double the number of submissions and the talent has been amazing! “

Festival fans will have a chance to see just how amazing when the winners are determined at this summer’s RBC Bluesfest.

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‘She’s the One’ contact: Ana Miura
Coordinator, She’s The One Emerging Female Artists Competition
Sponsored by boom 99.7
she’stheone@ottawabluesfest.ca
613-247-1188 x302

Note: I’m cheering on my client Ann Vriend and wish her the very best of luck in this competition!

Ann Vriend’s Love & Other Messes Is One of My Top 2 Favourite CDs of 2011

CD Review
Title: Love & Other Messes
Artist:  Ann Vriend
Label: Independent
Released: 2011
Stars:  4.5

I should have written this a LONG time ago but I generally don’t review the work of my clients once they’ve become a client as this could be seen as a conflict of interest and undermine the influence of my opinions, for all they’re worth.  However, I have to make an exception in the case of Ann Vriend’s Love & Other Messes.  Critically acclaimed by numerous major Canadian newspapers & publications, listed on CKUA Radio’s Top 100 of 2011, honoured among The Ottawa Sun’s Top 7 Indie Album Picks for 2011, and following successful Canadian, Australian, Dutch & German tours to showcase it, Love & Other Messes is one of my top two favourite CDs of 2011. I’m declaring this because Ann’s a superb talent and not because she’s my client.  I started out as a fan and I’ll be one of her biggest fans forever!

Love & Other Messes, Vriend’s 6th album since 2003, is a collection of 12 exquisitely crafted songs, punctuated by Ann’s unique and easily recognizable vocals, that can’t be defined by one genre.  It falls somewhere between pop, soul and Americana, and opens with the country ballad “Everybody Sings in Nashville”, a song with backing vocals by Coco Love Alcorn & Chloe Albert that should have been a hit in Nashville and would be if Dolly Parton sang it.  (There’s still hope!)  “Best Thing” is a sophisticated, upbeat pop ditty with echoes of Motown careening through it, also supported by the very gifted Alcorn & Albert, and highlighted by Ann’s keyboards as well as Alcorn’s trumpet and the distinguished organ of David Aide (which is the case for every track).  James Forrest contributes bass, Robin Pelletier and Alan Wall play guitars and Thom Bennett adds drums throughout.

“Don’t Cry” is a revamped, stripped down version of the same pop ballad that was over produced on Vriend’s 2nd album, Modes of Transport.  This is by far the superior version of the song but it’s one of my least favourite tracks on Love & Other Messes.  “The Way You Let Me Down” is bluesy pop with some of the best playing by the musicians on the album not to mention a prime example of Vriend’s spectacular ability to hit some really high notes!  The blues make another appearance on “Possession Blues”, a simply produced song with only piano, guitar & vocals, and its’ recording reminds me immediately of Robert Johnson.

“Excuses No. 1-8” is a stark, plaintive piano ballad depicting various excuses one may give for not wanting to marry that certain someone while “More or Less” reiterates the importance of accentuating the positive while gently letting a lover down by not lying to them about your feelings.  “Tin Man” is a splendid ballad, using a brilliant metaphor from Oz, the likes of which you may have heard from the star that is Jann Arden.  Love is messy after all.

“Graffiti On My Heart (You Must Not Love)” is the only song of its kind on this CD, recorded live with a gang of vocal participants who carry on the bracketed refrain, and with its memorable gypsy/carnival romping sing-a-long gives Ann a reason to play the kazoo when she plays it live.  Sheer fun!

There are so many great tracks to choose from that it’s hard to pick a favourite.  I have three favourites including the sultry & divine duet with Matt Epp, “If You Were Here”, a ballad dedicated to the incomparable Jeff Buckley; “Long Distance Call”, another impressive ballad with background vocals by Epp that reminds me of someone special from my past; and my very favourite, the gospel charged call for divine assistance that should impress even Van Morrison and was my mantra for 2011: “Somebody On The Ground.”

Love & Other Messes’ CD packaging design by Simon Farla is the best of all of Vriend’s collection and offers a 28 page lyric booklet with terrific sepia tone photographs featuring splashes of washed-out vermillion.  Oh, and I was very honoured to be mentioned in her Thank Yous too.

You will honestly be hard-pressed to find many other female, Canadian singer-songwriters who aren’t already a household word who deserve to be more than Ann Vriend.  If she stays true to her own vision and continues to write classy songs of this magnitude, I have no doubt that she will be a Canadian music legend some day.